NATO Summit Today: Maximum Focus On Curbing Russia And Enhancing EU Security
By Kalyan Kumar | September 4, 2014 2:23 PM EST
With the NATO Summit making its formal opening session today at Wales, UK the global attention is cast on it to know the action plan of NATO, in the light of the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
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The Associated Press has reported that US President Obama will be in Wales for the full NATO Summit and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will also be arriving for the meeting, to present his country's situation. Ukraine is not yet a member of the NATO.
According to an analyst, quoted in the US News report, the attack of Russia on a country in Europe has altered the NATO focus to European security.
Cold War Jitters
In a sense, when President Obama and other NATO leaders at the Newport conclave in Wales will be talking more about the old Cold War foe, Russia, and of protecting the vulnerable alliance members from it, without provoking Kremlin into any harsh military action.
Despite painted as the villain in Ukraine, some see the expressions of Russia as a pent up outburst of its ire at the consistent eastward march of U.S.-led NATO forces aimed at undercutting Russian influence.
The tensions are soaring mainly because the statecraft of Russian President Vladimir Putin is a bit different. Using military to push back forces that may disturb Moscow's strategic goals is no taboo for Putin.
NATO had stitched an agreement with Russia way back in 1997, under which no permanent NATO troops will be stationed at the Baltics. That is why, despite mulling to protect the new recruits to the Western fold, NATO leaders are still shying away from provoking Putin and his generals.
This sums up the observations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, made in the German Parliament recently. She said the Wales summit while deliberating on defence capabilities, will also abide by the commitments of the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997, as a guideline for security in Europe.
That means, it is a cooperation not a confrontation that holds the key to security in Europe. This stand also echoed in French President Francois Hollande's reaction that France delivers a calming discourse on the Russia-Ukraine standoff while putting pressure on Moscow to negotiate for a political exit in Ukraine.
The upshot of these sermons on non-confrontationist stand is that eastern NATO members cannot expect much from NATO at the moment, in terms of thousands of soldiers or phalanxes of battle tanks.
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